An Anatomy of Failure – Wind Power Development in China

PublikationArtikel (med peer review)
China, Jonas Grafström, Miljöekonomi, Wind power


China is currently the world’s largest installer of wind power. However, with twice the installed wind capacity compared to the United States in 2015, the Chinese produce less power. The question is: Why is this the case? This article shows that Chinese grid connectivity is low, Chinese firms have few international patents, and that export is low even though production capacity far exceeds domestic production needs. Using the tools of Austrian economics, China’s wind power development from 1980 to 2016 is documented and analyzed from three angles: (a) planning and knowledge problems, (b) unproductive entrepreneurship, and (c) bureaucracy and government policy. From a theoretical standpoint, both a planning problem and an entrepreneurial problem are evident where governmental policies create misallocation of resources and a hampering of technological development.

Grafström, J. (2021). An Anatomy of Failure – Wind Power Development in China. Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 24(2), 317-347.

Liknande innehåll

No evidence of counteracting policy effects on European solar power invention and diffusion.
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Grafström, J., & Poudineh, R.


Publicerat i

Energy Policy, 172, 113319.


In this paper, the questions of how support policies affect invention and diffusion of solar PV technology and whether the effect is heterogeneous and counteracting are investigated in order to help policy makers produce a better policy mix. The policies (and policy proxies) investigated are Feed-in-tariffs (FITs), Public R&D stock and flow, Environmental tax, and Environmental Policy Stringency Index. The policies are within the control of national government and no EU level policies are investigated. Evaluating policies on several dimensions is highly important since there is a risk that policies can promote one aspect of technological progress such as invention but derail diffusion. A Schumpeterian technological development approach is utilised on a panel dataset covering 23 European countries between 2000 and 2019. Two econometric approaches are employed, a negative binomial regression model is used to assess inventions and a panel data fixed effect regression is used for the diffusion model. The empirical findings suggest that no counteracting policy effects were present.

Ratio Working Paper No. 347: A review of problems associated with learning curves for solar and wind power technologies
Working paperPublikation
Grafström, J. & Poudineh, R.


Publicerat i

Ratio Working Paper


The learning curve concept, which relates historically observed reductions in the cost of a technology to the number of units produced or the capacity cumulatively installed, has been widely adopted to analyse the technological progress of renewable resources, such as solar PV and wind power, and to predict their future penetration. Learning curves were originally an empirical tool to evaluate learning-by-doing in manufacturing, and the jump to analysis of country-level technological change in renewable energy is an extension that requires careful consideration. This paper provides a review of the problems associated with learning curves for solar and wind power technologies. Issues such as whether the past cost reductions affect the future, learning curve specification problems, changing price ratios and econometric issues are discussed. Learning curves have a place in research, but there are several pitfalls that researchers should be careful not to overlook.

Visa fler

Ratio är ett fristående forskningsinstitut som forskar om hur företagandets villkor kan utvecklas och förbättras.

Sveavägen 59 4trp

Box 3203

103 64 Stockholm

Bankgiro: 512-6578